13th May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Kresge vs. Kmart!

In World’s Greatest Toys (page 59), I discuss retailer S.S. Kresge, and their transition into Kmart:

Founded in 1899, S.S. Kresge was a five-and-dime retailer. In 1977, the company officially changed its name to Kmart Corporation, but Kresge stores operated in America until 1987.

During the 1970s, Kresge and Kmart orders were fulfilled through several different consolidation facilities, such as See-Pak in New Jersey. Orders came from “the individual stores,” recalled Mego warehouse manager Ray Demato. Mego’s warehouse employees would stage the entire order, separated by region. To fulfill orders for East Coast and Midwest stores, for example, Demato explained that Mego would “put them on a See-Pak truck that went to a Kmart breakdown point. See-Pak handled a specific region of the country,” adding, “There was a ‘See-Pak,’ a ‘See-USA,’ and others. [Kmart] had like five distribution points” covering the entire country.

Since the retailer’s transition occurred during Mego’s heyday, it’s fun to track the varying prices and toys offered by the two (very different) stores. In all my years of collecting, I have encountered relatively few “Kmart” price stickers, while I have seen countless examples of “Kresge” stickers, thank to the Kresge-branded “1st Issue” cards.

Kresge ordered ‘owned-brand’ packaging (i.e. pre-printed price stickers) for only a few years (1973-1975), but they continued to sell Mego products for years afterward. Here’s a cool comparison of a “Kresge” and a “Kmart” price sticker, both of which appeared after Kresge stopped buying ‘owned-brand’ packaging:

Price Sticker

The $3.33 “Kresge” sticker (above left) is affixed to a “1st Issue” (6th Version) Robin card (see page 189 ofWorld’s Greatest Toys), while the $3.97 “Kmart” sticker (above right) is affixed to a 2nd Issue “©1977b” Batman card (see page 225 of World’s Greatest Toys).

The packages were issued about a year-and-a-half apart, which explains the $0.64 price increase.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 13th, 2008 at 6:00 am and is filed under Batman, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Memories, Price Stickers, Robin, S.S. Kresge. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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